‘Very best in youth’: Abigail Mariam headed to Harvard, career in public policy –

July 19th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

APPLE VALLEY • Abigail Mariam was in eighth grade when she was bit by the service bug. Her uncle took her on a trip with his yoga group to serve peanut butter sandwiches to the homeless hanging around the former Forrest Park on Seventh Street in Victorville.

After experiencing firsthand what it felt like to help someone in need, she couldn’t shake the urge to give back to the community.

Now barely 18 years old and headed to Harvard University in the fall, the Granite Hills High School graduate has had a hand in projects benefiting younger students, animal shelters, cancer survivors, Haitian earthquake victims, Ugandan children, troops overseas and patients and families at St. Mary Medical Center — to name a few.

“I’m kind of a service freak,” Mariam said. “If I go a day without doing some kind of kindness I feel like I’m a bad person.”

Mariam’s commitment to service, along with her 5.0 academic record and stellar writing skills, have earned her the elite status as one of 23 students in the United States to be named 2011 Nestle’s Very Best in Youth.

Now in its 14th year, the Nestle program recognizes young people who have shown leadership and initiative to make a positive impact on the world. A judging panel comprised of Nestle executives, community leaders, former winners and parents reviewed more than 3,500 applications to choose this year’s winners, according to Nestle spokeswoman Cristina Bastida.

The winners get $1,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.

The winners will also be profiled in the book “Making a Difference Today for a Better Tomorrow,” which will be distributed nationwide to schools and youth organizations that can point to students like Mariam as role models.

“Honestly I was very surprised when I was accepted because I was looking at the profiles of past winners and I was very humbled to think that I could be put in the same league as these other incredible, incredible kids,” Mariam said.

Mariam and her parents will travel to Universal City on July 23 for the Nestle awards ceremony. For more information, visit www.Nestle-VeryBestinYouth.com/winners.

To read more about Mariam, see the full story in Friday’s Daily Press. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

  1. engdashet bekele
    | #1

    Hey you are so samrt and God Bless you and you are blessed keep it

  2. GebreMariam
    | #2

    You are great, Abigail. I kind of expect such progress and achievements from a daughter of renowned professor, writer, activist and lawyer.

    You will definitely be a model for my daughter. Please don’t forget your roots in the future. What I dilike to see is for such prominent Ethiopians melting in the main stream culture and forgetting their roots and obligations to serve their own people. Since you are a daughter of that great man who is serving his country and society well, I won’t worry much about this.

  3. menzaw
    | #3

    Abigail you are the second Ethioyoung lady with outstanding result from and to Harvard that I know. Mahalet is currently teaching in one of well-known University college in the east cost, she been recognized there for outstanding performance and dedication.
    Congratulation Abigail for your excellent work, keep it up.

  4. hailmichael
    | #4

    what a kind,generous,brainy Abigal! You are the proud of ETHIOPIA!the hope of our future generation.GOD BLESS YOU!

  5. ምህረት
    | #5

    like father like daughter !!!! God Bless you.

  6. Tesfa
    | #6

    Great! Great role model!Congratulations! Congratulations to her family as well.Wish Abigail the best of luck.

  7. Dany
    | #7

    You are the torch of Ethiopia !!Many will follow your footsteps !God Bless you !

  8. Anonymous
    | #8

    All the best to you Abby! You are one lucky girl to have supportive parents that raise you to be independent and strong young woman. Congratulations to you and your parents.

  9. qualebicha
    | #9

    This is what we have been talking about;Ethiopia has never been short of producing fine minds of all ages;Abigail is the prime example for the young generation and she will continue to be one in the future.We wish her the best in her study and future life.Abigail,in fact gave us the best the best gift.Thanks,to her parents,too.

  10. Anonymous
    | #10

    danm God, wish i was like that lol, good luck

    | #11


  12. Anonymous
    | #12

    You have done really well and May God bless all your journey and destination.

  13. abbabu
    | #13

    Great achievement!! Congratulations. We share the pride of your parents.

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